Nashville Guide Music

Nashville Music Guide
Kevin Fowler
Craig Moritz
David Ray
Bringing Blue Collar Back
Smokey Robinson
2010 Fan Fair Souvenir Issue
Nashville Music Guide
151 JUNE 2010
152 JULY 2010
Nashville Music Guide
The Judds: The Final Encore
Jason Boland And The Stragglers
R.O.P.E Spectacular 2010
Cory Morrow
Exclusive Interview with
The Scorpians
And More!!!
Heidi Newfield
David Nail
John Fogerty
Reckless Kelly
and More!
Bo Bice
Darryl Worley
Neal McCoy
Jeannie Seely
Canadian Craig
edes Into Nashville
Welcome To Nashville Countr
y Music Fans
New Album 3
Best Work Yet
Keep The Change
Still Going Strong
2010 R.O.P.E.
Entertainer of The Year
Editor’s Letter
Another month
has already come
and gone, and the
holidays are quickly
approaching. We
started our month
out by making it to
the R.O.P.E.S, held
October 7th, 2010.
The entertainment for
the evening was the
great Moe Bandy. I
also had the honor
of meeting two ladies
that are legends
in country music.
Originally from Oklahoma, the Opry Star herself, Jean
Shepard as well as Jan Howard, she has worked so hard to
keep country music country. I appreciate the invitation from
Marty Martel to attend such an epic event.
Speaking of Marty, he recently wrote an article on Blake
Shelton titled, “Opinion-Another Minus For Blake Shelton”.
It was posted on our site and you could say it received a bit
of attention; nearly 3,000 hits within 12 hours from Blake’s
fans. We received over 600 post on the site and posted as
many as we could. Marty answered nearly every one that
commented. Marty didn’t ask for anyone to agree or disagree
he just gave his opinion. It was tweeted and re-tweeted for
several days by hundreds of fans. You can view the article
and all the post via the website: www.nashvillemusicguide.
com. Marty is hard at work on another story and wants
answers; answers that the stars and the public deserve to
know. Of course we cannot print all of his work, but you can
find all on the website, which is updated daily.
If you haven’t had the chance to check out the website,
as a fan of the guide or an advertiser you will be really
impressed with the hard work and the many hundred hours
my nephew, Joe Matthews, has put into it. There are all
kinds of new sections including, news, exclusives, Music
Row, opinion, Legends & Veterans, upcoming events, music
venues, videos, reviews, past stories, past editions and our
new logo. Our new logo is the work of artist to the stars,
Corey Frizzell, who will also be doing some writing for the
After the R.O.P.E.S., I had a flight back to Oklahoma, but
like my nephew says, “There is only so much time you can
squeeze into a 24 hour day.” I didn’t get everything done, as
usual. Sitting in my driveway, fresh from the paint shop, tint
shop, carpet shop, and from Midas for a tune-up is the 1985
Keith Whitey Corvette. I was just sitting on the porch looking
at its beauty – only 65,000 miles – and thinking this thing
hasn’t left Davidson County in 16 years, and maybe never
been outside of Tennessee. I was sitting there thinking about
how much work I had put into this car. The dome light didn’t
work, so I fixed it. Cruise control, which is a must, didn’t work
and the taillight was out, so I fixed those too. During all my
time tinkering with the car I listened – well more like rocked
out ­– to the Whitley CD, which had been left in the car. I
thought to myself, I have put a lot of work into it but there
Nashville Music Guide 2
is only one other way to figure out if anything else is wrong
with the car, drive it. So that’s what I did, I cancelled my
flight, called the local DMV to only to find out that I needed to
give my next born child to get the five year, out of date tags
current. I said, “To hell with it.” I packed up my suitcase,
cranked up the tunes and headed west. Seven hundred
and ninety miles later I was in Dover, Okla., with the car still
intact. No problems on the way and I can’t wait for the drive
This month, I would also like to draw some attention to one
of the Guide’s greatest supporters, Julie Ingram. I would
like to say thank you to her for all her support. Julie has a
new single out that is worth spinning. Give her a listen on
her website, purchase a CD or request it on the radio. Also,
to “keep up with the Jones’s” we have been peddling Phil
Sweetland from place to place, doing interviews and lining
him up with unsigned artist to work on bios. We keep Phil
busy and always on short notice. Phil we like to thank you
for that!
Also a big Thank You to our readers and advertisers
you are the ones that really count. Also, I almost forgot to
mention that we have relocated effective November first, due
to our expansions to the Guide, we needed space for filmed
interviews and a room for writing appointments for our outof-state and out-of-country artists. Our new office is at 1700
Hayes, Suite 103 – it is only 2 blocks from our old location,
so stop by and check it out!
Randy & Kymberly Matthews
Josh Thompson......................................................................3
Steve Bivins Battles Cancer....................................................5
Out And About........................................................................7
Sounding Board......................................................................8
Kevin Fowler...........................................................................9
Craig Moritz...........................................................................10
David Ray..............................................................................11
Smokey Robinson Now And Then........................................12
Musician’s Spotlight..............................................................14
Billy Frizzell...........................................................................16
Country Music Legends........................................................18
Producer’s Spotlight.............................................................20
Inside Track...........................................................................22
Lyrics For Lyric......................................................................23
Songwriter’s Spotlight...........................................................24
Play Prague..........................................................................26
Biz Buzz................................................................................28
Destination Location: The Rutledge......................................29
Song Matchmakers Network................................................34
R.O.P.E. Awards....................................................................36
Nashville Country Club CD Reviews...................................38
Josh Thompson Helps Return
Blue-Collar Music To Radio
Story by Phil Sweetland
Photos by Christian Lantry
Josh Thompson was making a comfortable
living pouring concrete in Wisconsin, but something was missing.
“The normal life just won’t do,” Thompson
said in October, as he prepared to head to a
solo show outside Boston, and then rejoin the
Rowdy Friends Tour with Hank Williams, Jr.,
Jamey Johnson, and Colt Ford. “I had a great
job, with union benefits and all that. My family’s
up there, and it’s where I hunt and fish.
“But I still longed,” Josh continued, “to be
somewhere that when I’d go to work, it didn’t
seem like work. It didn’t seem like that was it.”
He was so good at pouring concrete
that even after he moved to Music City and
snagged his first publishing deal with Ash
Street Music, he poured concrete part-time to
make ends meet. Back home in Wisconsin, he
earlier worked on a three-year project building Miller Park, the home of the Milwaukee
Josh Thompson is also very, very good at
writing and singing country songs that reflect
his own workingman’s background. That kind of
blue-collar, guy’s country music – similar to that
of Zac Brown and Easton Corbin – has helped
bring mainstream country radio back towards
its 1970s place where male listeners could
enjoy it just as much as their lady friends.
“I think the blue-collar style of music is extremely important. For me, it’s what turned me
on to country music,” Thompson says. “That’s
what the core country listener and consumer is,
they’re working men and working women that
get up early in the morning and go to work and
pay the taxes and pay the mortgage. They’re
regular Americans.”
One of the best aspects of Josh Thompson
and Zac Brown is that they not only sing about
regular Americans, they look like regular guys.
Music Row and country got so obsessed this
decade with reality shows like “American
Idol,” and the perceived need to reach female
listeners and consumers, that lots of artists
got signed more for their looks and for their
Radio also became too ballad-heavy, with
songs that glorified the women, but had little
in common with country’s blue-collar, truckdriving, factory-floor roots.
As a result, many longtime listeners fled the
format. Songs like Thompson’s current Top 15
Columbia Nashville hit single “Way Out Here,”
which name-checks John Wayne, Johnny
Cash, and John Deere, are bringing them back
in droves.
The concept for the song, Thompson says,
came when Josh and co-writers Casey Beathard and David Lee Murphy were just sitting
around a table, shooting the bull.
One of the guys said, “it’s nice way out
“Well, writing is such a bipolar mess, as I call
it,” Thompson says with a smile. “Sometimes
you come in to the writing session with an idea,
or just a melody. In the case of that song, we
weren’t even starting to write yet, just talking.’ ”
Country radio has jumped all over the single,
which is also the title track for Thompson’s
debut Columbia Nashville album. The album
has already spent time in Top 10.
“My greatest compliment has happened a
couple of times at the shows,” he says. “Fans
come up to me and say, `I listen to your songs
on the way to work, and it puts me in a better
mood. They make me forget the 10 hours I’m
about to put in on the job.’ ”
His 2005 move to Music City was a gutsy
one. “My first impression is, `Who the hell
designed this town?’ The first thing you do is
get lost,” he says. “It took me about six months
to figure it out, and I still get lost. But I did the
songwriters nights at 12th& Porter and everything. That was okay, some nights were better
than others. But that was also a great place to
meet other writers.”
Unlike many other Row stars, Thompson
didn’t get his start in music until quite late.
“I didn’t get a guitar until I was 21. I got
one for my birthday, and I learned the cowboy
chords,” he says.
The passion for music began much earlier.
“I have always been in love with music. It
has always controlled my life since I was a
little kid,” he says. “Merle Haggard and George
Jones were two of my favorites. I just like the
honesty in their music, no matter how brutal
and awkward the stories were. They were making themselves vulnerable, telling the truth.”
Not long after moving to Nashville, he was
signed at Ash Street Publishing. That deal
lasted two years.
“I got a job pouring concrete here right away.
My draw wasn’t enough that I could live off,”
Thompson said. “So I would write Mondays
and Wednesdays, then work Tuesdays and
Thursdays, often working until 10 at night to
dump out a couple trucks.”
These days, he’s able at last to spend full
time on music, and country radio and bluecollar country fans are reaping the benefits.
Nashville Music Guide 3
Executive Editor: Randy Matthews
[email protected]
Co-Editor: Kymberly Matthews
[email protected]
Co-Editor: Joe Matthews
[email protected]
Accounts: Rhonda Smith
[email protected]
News & Advertising: Joe Matthews
[email protected]
Events & Venues: Amanda Andrews
[email protected]
Layout and Design: Warren Ells
[email protected]
Founder/Consultant: Dan Wunsch
Office Manager: Glenda Montgomery
[email protected]
Contributors: Phil Sweetland, Bronson Herrmuth,
Debi Champion, James Rea, Preshias, Rick Moore,
Corey Frizzell, Leslie Armstrong.
Contact: Press releases, CD Reviews
[email protected]
Advertisement/Rates: [email protected]
We have moved to a new location.
Nashville Music Guide
1700 Hayes Street, Suite 103
Nashville, TN 37203
Office: 615-244-5673 Fax: 615-244-8568
Disclaimer-Nashville Music Guide, Inc is not liable for any inaccuracies submitted by freelance journalist, advertisers, publicists, and/or
persons using this issue for the free publicity and/or any royalty payments or fees due to the publication of material in the form of a press
releases, events publicity or advertising.
Nashville Music Guide 4
Writer’s Night Legend
Steve Bivins Battles Cancer
Steve “Bulldog”
Bivins is known
for many things in
Nashville, including
for leading possibly
the first songwriter’s
night with a full
band, for leading
the band at the
legendary Cowboy
Church, and, with his
wife Lori, for being
the pastor of his
own church, River
of Faith in White
House. But perhaps
more than anything,
he’s known for being
a friend of many, a
man who has helped
countless songwriters and artists learn the ropes in Nashville through his writer’s nights
and by sharing his own experiences.
Bivins came to Nashville after spending years as a touring musician
in the western states, opening for such acts as Larry Gatlin and the
Gatlin Brothers. He went on to cut four sides with the members of Buck
Owens’ Buckaroos, and eventually led his own band in Montana which
charted with two singles. But in the early ‘80s Nashville beckoned.
“Lori and I along with our son, Jeremiah, drove into Nashville, with
our van and everything we owned,” Bivins recalled. “I remember pulling up in front of the Ryman, where there was just a field before the
convention center was built, and a cop came down and said we better
move because it was not a good area.”
Writer’s nights back then were occasions where a guy or gal got
onstage at a bar somewhere and strummed and sang alone. But within
a few years of making friends and performing around town, Bivins
changed the way writer’s nights operated in Nashville, with what is
thought to be the first writer’s night with a live band that followed charts
the writers brought in at a now-defunct club on Nolensville Road. And
while the years have passed and rumor has become legend, some of
today’s stars are said to have come up through the ranks playing one or
more of those writer’s nights backed by Steve Bivins and his Pick of the
Litter Band at the Hall of Fame Lounge and other locations.
Artists and writers such as Leann Rimes, Craig Wiseman, Richard
Fagan, Tim McGraw, Tammy Cochran, Otis Blackwell and others are
all said to have graced the stage at one of Bivins’ writer’s nights at one
time or another. And Bivins knew a little about songwriting himself;
along with Charlie Williams and Diane Dickerson, Bivins wrote the
humanitarian anthem “Pass It On,” which Willie Nelson cut for his 1986
Promiseland album.
In 1991 Bivins made the acquaintance of Pastors Harry and Joanne
Cash Yates, who had begun holding services in the Holiday Inn on Elm
Hill Pike on Sunday mornings at what they called the “Cowboy Church.”
“Steve was doing a writers night in the Holiday Inn on Sunday nights,
and we had started Cowboy Church there on Sunday mornings,” Pastor
Harry Yates said. “I’d see him setting up for Sunday night, and one day
he played at our service and people just loved it, so that was the start
of our having full bands at Cowboy Church.” Through that connection
Bivins and his band backed Johnny Cash, as Pastor Joanne Cash
Yates was Johnny’s sister. And when Cash’s mother, Carrie, died during
that same period, Bivins performed “Family Bible” at her funeral.
“A few years later we moved over to the Texas Troubadour Theatre
and the band went along,” Yates continued. “Steve eventually became
my associate pastor and also the song leader and praise and worship
leader at our services out in Goodlettsville before he left to start his own
Bivins played at the Cowboy Church for nearly a decade, worshipping God with numerous stars, nobodies, and people who went on to
enjoy fruitful careers. Bivins’ son, Jeremiah, is now the drummer for EMI
Records Nashville flagship act Troy Olsen. Jeremiah said that his father
is definitely the inspiration behind his own musical career.
“I started hanging out with him at writer’s nights when I was about
eight, I guess,” Jeremiah said. “And I started playing with him at the
Cowboy Church when I was 17, and of course I’ve played at my mom
and dad’s church. Anywhere my dad has needed me to play, I’ve done.”
“My dad’s a great guy,” Jeremiah said, “and he was real well known
for helping a lot of people get started when they first came to Nashville.
He still is, I guess.”
Today Steve Bivins is battling cancer, and is in the thoughts and
prayers of his many friends and colleagues in Nashville. No matter the
outcome of his illness, there are a lot of folks in Nashville whose lives
wouldn’t be the same without him.
“Steve is very loved and respected, and he’s helped a lot of people
over the years,” Pastor Harry Yates said. “We’re all praying for him very
Steve Bivins, right, with Chas Williams (left) and Ray Mann
of Bivins’ Pick of the Litter band.
Nashville Music Guide 5
EDITOR’S NOTES by Randy Matthews
Well, it goes to show that hard work,
paying your dues, working your butt off
and talent finally gets you somewhere.
BLAKE SHELTON was inducted into the
Grand Ole Opry on Saturday, October
23, 2010. Congratulations BLAKE!!
Blake –not sure if you read our magazine
– we know your fans read our tweets,
if you know what I mean! By the way
readers, you can follow us on Twitter
at NMG Nashville, NashMusicGuide,
Doverrigs and Songwriteguy.
Mel Mc Daniel is still hard at work; he’s kicking off his “Silver
Anniversary” release and tour season as a 25-year Opry member. Craig
Moritz our Canadian friend from our July cover was back in Nashville
last month finishing up his new album. It is set to release in early 2011;
read more about Craig in this issue and on our website. Joe and I got
a cut on his new album called “No Fun Haters Allowed” We were also
able to help him find a few of his other songs as well. His hard work and
dedication will pay off, good thing is he may come from a different soil,
but the boy is appreciative and brings real country sound. One good
thing about the Nashville Music Guide is how we support artists ranging
from new, known, unknown, legends, writers and more.
Kid Rock is on a new path trying to avoid lawsuits by keeping drama
and baggage out of his life. Some idiots out there are dressing up like
him causing him issues and he is not taking very kindly to it. We have
meet Kid Rock and even partied with him, he is not the guy that the
tabloids make him out to be; he is really a cool guy. We can no longer
print our good friend and supporter “Sandy Kane’s” other stage name
anymore. We received a letter from a lawyer stating if we did we would
be liable for a lawsuit. So we had to change her ad, she has put out a
new CD that is hilarious she sings her own way. If you haven’t heard
of her, you should definitely Google her. She has had her own comedy
show for years, opened for a number of stars and not afraid to tell you
her thoughts. Her lawsuit involves a guy we won’t mention, but you can
hear about it on several XM channels and has been aired on one of the
major morning shows.
Toby Keith is no longer a Democrat; he is now a registered
Nashville Music Guide
155 OCTOBER 2010
Nashville Music Guide
Kevin Fowler
Craig Moritz
David Ray
Bringing Blue Collar Back
Smokey Robinson
Nashville Music Guide 6
independent and supports Mike Huckabee for President. I personally
considered the Tea Party but holding back for the Bourbon Party since
the first ain’t strong enough. I think it’s about time a bunch of Red Necks
hold a month long Beer Camp and head to D.C. and clean that house.
There are two people whom I think get more pretty every day, Reba
and Loretta Lynn. Who wouldn’t agree to that? Loretta is celebrating
50 years in country music. Congratulations to Loretta and her family.
All the Lynn’s work hard, Patsy is Loretta’s manager with a sharp pen
and her sister, Peggy, is right there beside her on the road. If you make
it to the ranch, once you eat the great food at Loretta’s Kitchen and
visit with the friendly help, you can travel north to her daughter, Betty
Sue’s, flea market and catch Loretta Lynn Jr. behind the counter, go a
little farther and you can see Sissy at her convenience store working,
sweeping, stocking shelves or kicking rocks out front. Go to the farm
and you can see Ernie on a horse or hauling hay. I guess the rest of the
tabloids that print trash about the family never get off the interstate!
Legend Don Williams had two sell out concerts at the Ryman
in October, however bronchitis stopped him from being at his own
induction to the Country Music Hall of Fame the same week. Sorry you
missed it Don but Congratulations! Also inducted were the late, Jimmy
Dean and Mel Tillis. Last month, I went to my favorite restaurant for
lunch and when I pulled in the parking lot I said to Craig Moritz “Dan’s
back.” Dan Wunsch just got back from a month long trip to Prague
where he hosted a writer’s conference; I might add that it was quite
successful too.
Like I said last month, CMA can’t keep country, country; Gwyneth
Paltrow is singing at the CMA Awards. I can’t sing either, but I’m going
to get in touch with Mel Gibson and see if he wants to do a duet with
me. Some music row insider’s stated on her behalf that she does have
some pipes. But who needs to know how to sing these days, if you got
the cash and connections, talent doesn’t matter. I hope somebody else
sings as well because I want to hear some real country; it’s the Country
Music Awards not the Oscars. How about some Jones or Frizzell?
Congratulations to the other brother, Allen Frizzell, as of October 2010,
“Until Then” went number one on the Southern Gospel Christian Voice
Magazine Charts; Frizzell has been nominated for the 2010 Christian
Country Male Vocalist.
Contact: [email protected]
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Nashville Music Guide 7
Sounding Board
Star rating based on final average in 7 categories (vocals, soul, production, musicianship, lyrics, melody, and
originality) for a maximum of 7 stars. We hope you as a reader rate this page 7 Stars.
Got a CD? All Styles! Send your CD’s for review consideration to:
Nashville Music Guide Attn: CD Review, 30 Music Sq West, Suite #205, Nashville, TN 37203
The Guitar Song Artist: Jamey Johnson
Jamey Johnson has once again brought us well written songs with the best honk-tonkin’ musicians around
along with his unique outlaw style that we all love. This CD has a white and a black album with 25 great
songs, including some timeless covers such as “Set ‘Em Up Joe” and “For the Good Times.” I love them
all, but my personal favorite is “Dog in the Yard” penned by Johnson and Buddy Cannon. The musicians
smoke it up on this and Jim “moose” Broom just throws down on the steel guitar while Curtis Wright adds
some great honky-tonk piano. “Thankful for the Rain,” another good one, reminds of Merle Haggard style.
“I Remember You” is a soul touching tune giving honor to the Lord. I recommend everyone has this in their
collection of treasured music.
Southern Filibuster: A Tribute to Tut Taylor Artist: Various Artists
Phenomenal player Jerry Douglas put together an all-star cast of musicians to pay tribute to the great
Tut Taylor. Its new workings of classic Taylor tunes will blow your socks off. Douglas assembled 14 of the
world’s greatest players to interpret compositions penned by Taylor and then enlisted Nashville’s finest musicians to record this treasure of songs. This truly is a collector’s dream, not to mention that all the proceeds
went to Tut Taylor.
Live In Istanbul, Turkey Artist: John Lee Hooker, Jr.
John Lee Hooker Jr. proves he can live up to the name of his legendary father in this incredible live
performance in Istanbul, Turkey. Fiery funky blues with excellent musicianship, soulful vocals, complete
with a top notch horn section. John Lee rocks up “Talk To Much” in true blues fashion then slows it down
with “Wait Until My Change Comes.” He brings it on home with the up-beat “Boom Boom”. This CD is
loaded with great blues music and also comes with a cool bonus DVD of “Extramarital Affair.” If you love
the blues you’ll love this collection.
The Secret Sisters Artist: The Secret Sisters
The self-titled album, performed by the Rodger Sisters, Lydia and Laura from Muscle Shoals, Alabama, is
a great collection of tunes sang in beautiful harmony with melodies to match. Their original cut “Tennessee Me” is a well-written, traditional, country-style ballad that will leave you wanting to hear more. The
sister’s unique style can be compared to Loretta Lynn, Wanda Jackson and Patsy Cline, with harmonies
like the Everly Brothers. This CD is fashioned from early-style country with a fresh, new twist. With vocal
like this they won’t be secret for long, besides everyone knows you can’t beat sibling harmonies. You can
check them out on their site:
Nashville Music Guide 8
Fowler’s ‘Pound Sign’ Weighs
In As A Texas-Sized Hit
By Phil Sweetland
The Amarillo native and veteran Texas singer and songwriter Kevin Fowler has
long been a favorite in the Lone Star State,
but he also appreciates how muchNashville,
mainstream country radio, and Music Row
can do for him.
“I love it up in Nashville, some of my best
friends are there,” Fowler says in a phone
conversation in late October.
“There’s always been this kind of rift
between Texas and Nashville, but I’ve never
bought into that. It’s always about the music.
Down here in Texas, the fans are like, `Oh,
you’ve gone Nashville. You’ve sold out,’ ”
Fowler continues. He never saw things that
“I’ve never seen any reason for that
divide,” says Fowler, whose recent novelty single, ‘Pound Sign,’ was a huge hit on
the Texas Regional Radio Report and also
impacted the nationwide Billboard country radio charts. “If our fans wanna be able to hear
stuff on the radio or walk into Wal-Mart and
buy the record, we have to work with the industry. Me and Pat Green say, `What the hell?
What do you mean? We NEED Nashville.’ ” And Lord knows, Nashville needs the
hugely talented Texas and Oklahoma artists
like Fowler, Wade Bowen, Cory Morrow, Pat
Green, Cross Canadian Ragweed, and the
legendary Willie Nelson.
Like many Texans, Fowler spends the
bulk of his time touring and working in
the Lone Star State. The state is truly the
Wide Open Spaces, with cities, towns,
dancehalls, honky tonks, and clubs all over
the place.
Texas has a musical tradition every bit
as rich as that of any other state – including Tennessee – and passionate, smart
fans. Unlike Tennessee, Texas has another
advantage: It’s barely been affected by the
Great Recession.
From a touring standpoint, the Lone
Star State is both an immense opportunity
and a major logistical challenge.Texas is
the second-biggest state in the USA both
in population (over 20.8 Million) and land
area (266,807 square miles).That’s six times
the land area of Tennessee, and four times
the Volunteer State’s population.
“Texas is its own world. Texans are really
proud, and they want their own things,”
Fowler says. “Down here, Chevy makes the
kept singing that song for two straight days.
I really do think kids are the best judge of a
song. They don’t really care who owns the
publishing or radio, they just know it’s a good
Kevin grew up in Amarillo. His family
featured huge country fans, with Buck Owens
and `Hee Haw’ among their favorites. Fowler’s
own idols?
He recalls: “Like all kids that owned a
guitar, Jimmy Page and Eddie Van Halen
were my heroes. Anybody that had a real bad
attitude and wore their guitar real low.When
I first got into it, I wanted to make music that
would piss my parents off.”
He moved to Los Angeles in the late 1980s
to study at the Guitar Institute, and long considered himself more a guitarist than a singer.
By the mid-1990s, he was home in Texas creating his own unique fusion of country and
rock, and he was hugely inspired in that effort
by Cory Morrow, a fellow Texan also recently
profiled in the Nashville Music Guide.
Lone Star Edition of its pickups, and Ford
“We all really owe a lot to Cory Morrow,”
makes the King Ranch Edition. When you
pick up a Bud Lite, it has the map of Texas on Fowler said. “He was the forerunner. Pat
Green began by opening for Cory.”
it. People here look as Texas as their own
Along with his great success in Texas,
country, they want their own music. The supKevin
started having mainstream country
port of the general public scene for live music
radio impact as well. “Ain’t Drinkin’ Anymore”
is incredible.”
reached No. 49 on the Billboard country chart
Just about all of Kevin’s shows between
now and the end of the year are in Texas, ex- in 2004 on Equity Records, with “Best Mistake I Ever Made” getting to No. 47 in 2008.
cept for one in nearby Stillwater, Oklahoma.
Last winter, Fowler signed with Lyric
But for the last several months, he also often
Street Records, a Disney-owned Nashville lacommuted between Texas and Nashville as
bel that sadly went out of business a few
he put the finishing touches on his latest
months later. He is now completing negotiaalbum.
tions with another record company, perhaps
Ironically, “Pound Sign,” one of the
Bigger Picture, the red-hot Row startup
album’s breakout singles and a Top 5 hit on
the Texas Regional Radio Report, wasn’t one whose artists include the Zac Brown Band.
“Bigger Picture has a great promotion
of Fowler’s own compositions.
Fowler says.
“It’s the first single I ever had I didn’t
staff may well help Kevin Fowler’s
write,” he said. “David Lee Murphy did. I had
music reach audiences both within
my kids in the car – three girls aged 3, 9, and
and outside of the Lone Star State in 2011.
15 – and after they heard `Pound Sign’ they
Nashville Music Guide 9
Unsigned Spotlight
Craig Moritz
Saskatchewan. Craig’s grandmother was one of the only musicians in the
family, but they always listened to country radio, and country albums by artists including Waylon Jennings and Don Williams were always on the record
Canadian Charisma Impacts
“I loved country growing up,” he says. “I could always sing along to it,
though at that point I didn’t know what the songs meant.”
Music Row and Country Radio
Craig performed in his school’s orchestra, but really wanted to play guitar.
By age 20, he had become friends with the local country radio station and
By Phil Sweetland
made a bold statement when the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band came to Fort McMurray to perform.
NASHVILLE – For a country
“Can you get a band together and open for them?” the station’s program
with about 10% of the
asked Craig.
population of the United States,
he said, even though he had never played a country show in
Canada has produced more
than its share of country stars.
But in the next two weeks he assembled and rehearsed a band. Craig
From Hank Snow, “The
the show, and the fans loved it – though he felt the performance was
Singing Ranger,” in the 1950s,
near as good as it should have been.
to Anne Murray in the 1970s
was hooked on this exciting new career. For a few years, Moritz
and 1980s and Shania Twain
professions – selling real estate, working the Canadian oil sands
in the 1990s – to name a few - the Great White North has had a massive
impact on Music Row and country radio.
band Lonestar came through Calgary, and Craig met keyboardNow Craig Moritz, an exciting new artist who hails from remote towns in
at a club. Sams invited Moritz to come to Nashville, which he
Western Canada with names like Medicine Hat and Fort McMurray, is workdid
in 2006, and record an album. They finished five sides
ing with top Row producers and songwriters to stake his own musical claim
its record deal, and the project stalled.
in Music City.
and liked it a great deal, though on the business
“Coming here as an outsider, I come to Nashville with a professional
and arguments over publishing splits with the
outlook,” Moritz says. “Then I like to go back home, work my shows, play for
happy ending when Craig’s frustration led
my fans in Canada, and keep building this as I go along. Then I’m excited
music, Eddie Gore.
every time I come down here.”
he says. “I learned what to do, and
Craig’s professionalism and fierce work ethic have caught the attention
of several Row heavyweights. His recordings are now being produced by
His group of A-team writers, producers, and managers have combined
Eddie Gore, who is Steve Cropper’s right-hand man and studio wizard, and
Moritz’s amazing dedication to make lots of folks on the Row and at
Moritz is writing with top tunesmiths including Byron Hill and Bernie Nelson.
take notice.
Hill’s hits include George Strait’s “Fool-Hearted Memory” and Gary Allan’s
exactly what he’s done with his new team including Gore,
“Nothin’ On But The Radio” and Nelson penned the #1 hit for ConfederNashville Music Guide editor Randy
ate Railroad “Daddy Never Was the Cadillac Kind.” Hill recently said in an
Matthews, Stephen Lawrance and
interview, “Craig’s a real writer.”
Mitzi Matlock.
The beauty of Moritz’s recordings are that they’re happening on both
“The way things used to be, I
sides of the border. Gore recently spent time with Moritz in Calgary, mixing
people got used to being lazy,”
Craig’s album with top Canadian engineer Johnny Gasparic, of MCC Studio.
“They didn’t want to go out
“If you’re gonna do anything in Nashville, you have to play the game to a
to work for their music.
certain extent,” Moritz says. “But I also had to keep Canada involved.”
you have to work, and
Moritz’s cuts songs like “When I Get On A Roll” feature strong, guitarwhy
an artist! Get out
based rocking country highlighted by Craig’s strong baritone vocals. “You
write your stuff,
Should Have Seen Her This Morning” includes Keith Urban-style chiming
play as
guitars and powerhouse Moritz that explore lower vocal registers much like
Trace Adkins and Josh Turner.
At long last, Craig Moritz’s long,
Another recent highlight is Moritz’s recording of “No Fun Haters,” the title
journey to Music Row is paying
track of Nashville Music Guide News/Advertising Manager Joe Matthews’s
major publishing and recording
fine solo album and “Stage Five Clinger,” the cheeky self penned Moritz tune
the next steps – and they’re
which pokes fun at how quickly people can get too attached early on in a
Canadian Sunsets away.
His family comes from the wheat-farming regions of the province of
Nashville Music Guide 10
Singing and Teaching His Way
To Music Row and Country Radio
By Phil Sweetland
NASHVILLE – Before he moved to Nashville in the summer of 2010,
David Ray was very well known to three very different groups of people –
country superstars who he opened shows for, middle school students in
Florida who he taught science, and thousands of listeners of 99-9 KISS
Country in Miami.
“While one of my passions is science, my true dream has always been
to be a singer,” Ray says in a conversation on Music Row.
Born in Michigan, his dream started young by watching his father sing
and play guitar, while supporting his family by selling cars during the day
and owning a sports bar at night.
David picked up his Dad’s guitar one day when he was 15, and taught
himself how to play Don McLean’s “American Pie” from the sheet music.
A couple weeks later, David sang and played the song at his high school
talent show and received a standing ovation.
“The feeling I had after that standing ovation is a big reason why I’m still
pursuing music today,” he says.
His music has always been a focal point of Ray’s life. Country stars
including Dwight Yoakam, Travis Tritt, and Garth Brooks were major influences, as were the pop legends James Taylor and Michigan native Bob
David studied at Central Michigan University, where he majored in
Education. He paid for part of his schooling by hosting Open Mic nights
at a popular college bar called The Cabin in Mount Pleasant.
Cabin management quickly hired him to play solo acoustic
shows Friday and Saturday nights, and David soon built a large local
following in Michigan, which he still has today.
After college, he looked for a teaching position in Nashville and even
obtained a Tennessee teaching certificate. Finding no jobs in the Volunteer
State, David found a position as a middle school science teacher in South
In Florida, he began playing local bars as many as five nights a week
while teaching during the day. In 2008 he entered Kenny Chesney’s Next
David Ray
Big Star competition, and won. That led to opening a show for Chesney in
front of more than 15,000 fans. That performance helped David earn the
support of one of the most influential country stations in the US, 99-9 KISS
Country in Miami.
KISS Program Director Ken Boesen and his staff soon began to
book David for countless station events, including Miami Dolphins and
Hurricanes games. In December 2008, he was asked to headline KISS
Country’s weekly promotion at the America’s Backyard/Revolution Live
concert venue in Fort Lauderdale. There he shared the stage with top Row
artists including Billy Currington, Chris Young, Pat Green, Travis Tritt, and
American Idol champion Taylor Hicks.
Last spring, David finally decided to make the big move to Music City.
“It’s a funny story,” he says. “After four years, my girlfriend and I decided to
go our separate ways, I lost my job due to budget cuts, and my roommate
moved out – all in the same month. I thought to myself, `This has to be a
sign to move to Nashville!’ “
Florida’s loss quickly became Nashville’s gain. David has recorded
demos of several original songs in Nashville with the help of piano player
and co-producer Albert Poliak. These demos combine David’s loves for
both country music and classic rock, including “Won’t Make You Love Me”
and “The Girl Is Like An Earthquake.”
David’s ties to the Sunshine State remain strong. Ken Boesen and the
staff of KISS Country remain huge supporters of David’s music, and David
often phones and visits the station and keeps them informed of what
he has been up to in Nashville.
His unique combination of country influences with blue-collar folk and
classic rock is an ideal fit for today’s radio. David also already has the
experience and confidence to play in both large and small venues, and
the crucial relationship with country radio which will make him a natural on
radio tours.
Nashville Music Guide 11
Nashville Music Guide 12
fOr any OccaSiOn
Some people would ask, after 50 years in the music business, why not just take it easy? Well, ask that of legendary
R&B artist Smokey Robinson and he’ll tell you why he’s still
recording and performing – it’s because he’s been given
the chance to live his wildest, most impossible dream. “I
am extremely blessed,” said Smokey while he was in
Nashville recently to talk about his newest CD, Now and
Then, which is available only at Cracker Barrel Old Country
Store locations nationwide. “Ever since I was a child, since I
was four or five years old, I wanted to be in show business. It
seemed impossible from where I was growing up.” He adds,
“I’m just blessed and that keeps me going.”
Smokey has had great success with his group
The Miracles and as a solo artist, and he has
logged 37 Top 40 hits in his career, earning
a number of significant awards along the way
including a Grammy® Lifetime Achievement
Award, a Grammy® for “Best R&B Performance, Male,” and the Soul Train Music
Award for Career Achievement. For a short
time, he retired from performing to focus
on his role as Vice President of Motown
Records. But after three and a half years
of being an executive and of writing songs
for others, he says that he was starting
to climb the walls. “It was so obvious –
Berry Gordy, my best friend and the man
who started Motown - came to me one
day and asked me to do him a favor. I
thought he had some trip he wanted me
to take or some deal he wanted me to
handle.” Laughing, Smokey explains,
“Berry told me to go get a band and
make a record and get out of the
office because he could see I was
miserable. And he said that seeing me miserable made him
miserable, and he didn’t
want that. So I got back
into performing.”
And Smokey is still
performing and still releasing albums. His newest CD, Now and Then,
has 12 songs on it. Six are
live versions of well-known
classics, including “Going to
a Go-Go,” “I Second That Emotion,” “The Tracks of My Tears,” and
“The Tears of a Clown,” recorded in
2010 during various performances. The other six are from his
2009 CD, Time Flies When You’re Having Fun, including “Time
Flies,” “Don’t Know Why,” and “Girlfriend.” Now and Then
serves up smooth ballads and some of the classic Motown
hits that made Smokey Robinson one of the most beloved and
influential figures in the history of popular music.
Smokey is certainly pleased about having his newest CD
at Cracker Barrel. He says, “I was so elated. I know Cracker
Barrel is known for its food, and for being a restaurant and a
shopping place at the same time, and I have to tell you when I
had breakfast there recently, I found myself sopping. You know
what sopping is? Where you take your biscuit and you get the
last little remnants of what was on your plate. It was excellent!”
In talking about the new CD, Smokey says that the idea
for having some old songs and some new songs came from
Cracker Barrel, which recognizes that many of its guests will
want that mixture. “We had breakfast there today, and I was
taking pictures with a lot of the patrons, and many of them
didn’t know I still record even though I never stopped since I
started as a solo artist, and many didn’t know I’m still doing
concerts, which I do around the world. Cracker Barrel felt
that by giving their guests some familiar songs that they were
aware of, it would be a good selling point for the CD, so during
my concerts this year, I recorded the concerts, so the familiar
songs were recorded live. And I have a new CD out called
Time Flies When You’re Having Fun – and I mean that – and
so I took six selections from that and six of the vintage songs
and put them together for Cracker Barrel.”
Smokey Robinson has touched the lives of so many people
along the path of his career, and he has influenced some very
important people in the music business, John Lennon and
Bob Dylan among them. Dylan has called Smokey America’s
greatest living poet. But Smokey’s response to this is quite
modest. “Those are wonderful things to hear, I’m very flattered because of course John Lennon and Bob Dylan are two
fantastic music people themselves, so to have quotes like that
from your peers is a very flattering and wonderful thing.” And
he adds, “I see myself as a man who is extremely blessed
because, when you can earn your living doing something that
you absolutely love and that you can’t think of anything you’d
rather do with your life, then that’s a blessing.”
By J.K. Davis
just because
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Nashville Music Guide 13
©2010 by Bronson Herrmuth
Tim Gonzalez
I was going to be doing. It came
natural to me.
Q: Was your family musical?
A: My sister could play a little bit and
my grandfather, I think he played a
little bit of the old style harmonica.
Like “Oh Susanna” and all that
good stuff where you could play the
chords and the lead together. So he
played a little bit but I think where I
got started musically, was because I
started singing first. I really liked to
sing but then I got behind the harmonica and was always trying to be
singing with the harmonica, so I kind
of left the vocal alone and started
playing harmonica.
Q: Do you remember your first paid
A: I was working at a bowling alley
because I was a really good bowler
and my grandfather wanted me to
become a professional bowler. The
band that I played with called me,
Tim Gonzalez plays the harmonica.
it was on New Years Eve, and said
Some of the artists he’s played with
include: Ronnie Milsap, Doug Stone, they got a gig. I was 17 I think at the
time and I was in a dilemma. Do I
Pam Tillis, Toby Keith, B.B. King,
shut the bowling alley down and go
Archer Park, John Michael Montgomery, Lee Oscar, Lynyrd Skynyrd, do this gig, what am I gonna do?
So I shut the bowling alley down,
Magic Dick, Leroy Parnell and the
got fired, and went and did the gig
Reverend Jimmy Bratcher. For 15
years Tim hosted the well known
Nashville favorite, All Pro Blues Jam. Q: So you worked right there in your
A: I started playing around BrownsMeet Tim Gonzalez.
ville plus the island, San Padre
Island. We did a lot of reggae, a lot
Q: Where you from?
of different styles of music, so I was
A: I was born and raised in Brownsexposed to all kinds of music growville, Texas. It’s called Rio Grande
Valley, way down south on the border ing up in south Texas. My influences
were, George “Harmonica” Smith, all
of Texas and Matamoris, Mexico.
the old guys, naturally, Little Walter. I’d buy all these records and I’d
Q: How old were you when you
come home and I’d play them so I
started playing music?
was kind of self taught. A lot of that
A: I was 13 and I started out as a
came natural to me. I’d hear it and I
singer in a garage band. My dad
used to lend us the garage and we’d would be able to play it.
open it up and we had keyboards,
Q: So how did you come to be in
drums, and bass. I started out actuNashville?
ally as a singer, and then a friend
A: We had this band called the South
of my brothers turned me on to the
Texas Wailers and back in ‘86 we
harmonica. When he gave me that
harmonica, that was like, this is what went and won the Dodge Wrangler
Nashville Music Guide 14
Country Showdown, so that got us
here. That’s the first time when I was
at the Grand Ole Opry I got to meet
Charlie McCoy. Charlie was a real
good influence on me as far as country harmonica. We continued playing
as the South Texas Wailers and I
decided one night, I don’t want to be
65 sitting on my porch thinking why
didn’t I go to Nashville and record
some music. I made the move with
my family in 1992 and I’ve been here
ever since which is 18 years later.
Q: Do you remember your actual first
gig in Nashville?
A: My first gig in Nashville was I did
a demo inside a bathroom (laughing).
You know like the converted houses.
Someone heard me play out at a jam
somewhere and said they needed
harmonica on a track, and that was
my first demo. I was lucky to get
on Atlantic Records with two guys,
Johnny Park and Randy Archer. I
recorded on their record, so that was
my first big master session that I did.
That was back in 1996.
Jimmy Bratcher. We met on line when I emailed him. A
year later Jimmy was at a jam here in Nashville with his
producer and I was playing that night and he invited me
to play on his record. That was 3 years ago and ever
since we’ve been inseparable, so I do a lot of shows
with Jimmy. That’s my main gig right now. We opened up
for ZZ Top up at Sturgis, we do a lot of the bike rallies.
We do a lot of prison ministry and we do a lot of secular
stuff. We just opened up for Leon Russell before he goes
out on tour with Elton John.
Q: Do you have any advice for someone new to Nashville?
A: My advice to them is to go out and expose yourself
to some of these jams. You know there’s a lot of jams
in Nashville so just go out. Go to songwriters, just try to
meet people, shake hands. The Nashville way is to get
some cards made up, hand out your card and let them
know you are available. Try to get up on stage in some
of these places and play and let people hear you. Nashville’s a musical town and they’re really open to newcomers coming in. I had a lot of luck, I was very blessed to
be with the group I was with and it led me to doing other
Visit Tim on line at and buy his CD,
“Straight From The Heart” on
Q: Do you have a preference for
playing live or playing in the studio?
A: Actually man, I like both. I really like the ambience of the studio
because you can be creative, unless
they want some specific melody,
or some specific rhythmic track or
something. They kinda say, you
know, either we want this style of
harmonica or we want this. But a lot
of times when you go into the studio,
I go thinking creatively. When I first
walked into the studio I was like a
little bit intimidated, so I was kind of
reserved in what I played, but as I
grew in Nashville to learning what
they liked is for you to be who you
are. The artist that you are and bring
whatever you can to the table, so
that’s when I kind of opened up and
played what I can play today.
Q: Currently you’ve been touring a
A: Yeah I’ve been touring with a
guy out of Kansas City, Reverend
Nashville Music Guide 15
A Piece of Honky Tonk History Lost
Billy Frizzell 1931 - 2010
In October of this year, the Country Music community lost a
small piece of Honky Tonk history in Billy Frizzell, younger brother
of the late, legendary Lefty Frizzell. Although a small benefaction,
long forgotten by today’s Country, to me his contribution was
important. He was larger than life. For me Uncle Bill was a
missing link to Country Music’s golden era, being just three years
younger than his brother Lefty and seven years older than David
Frizzell, another brother who found stardom in the eighties with
hits like, “You’re The Reason God Made Oklahoma” as half
of the award winning dual Frizzell & West, with Shelly West,
daughter of the late Country Superstar Dottie West.
Billy Frizzell was born in Kilgore, TX in 1931, the second of
nine children of Naamon and A.D. Frizzell, four of whom would
make their mark in Country Music history. Although Lefty was
the family music patriarch, being one of the world’s most popular
country stars along with Hank Williams in the early 50’s, Uncle
Bill was there from the start. The pair entered talent shows, sang
on local radio as children and later headlining shows, Lefty as the
star and Billy as part of Lefty’s band, The Tune Toppers, touring
throughout west Texas and Southeast New Mexico.
Billy would sign and record with the record label, Four Star
before being drafted to the Korean war with another Tune
Topper member, Norm Stevens, whom years later would be
hired to play and tour with Merle Haggard after Merle found out
his musical hero’s (Lefty) old band mate lived nearby and quit
playing for a number of years.
After the war, Billy would return to the tour and sign a contract
with Decca without much success. He would latter make a home
in CA and concentrate more on writing.
He wrote several songs, one of them with Bob Adams called
“I Love You Mostly” recorded in 1954 by Lefty and released on
Lefty Frizzell’s “Great Sound” Album in 1966 along with other
memorable Lefty songs like, “My Baby’s Just Like Money” and
“Give Me More, More, More (Of Your Kisses)”.
As the nephew of Lefty, Billy, David and the son of youngest
brother Allen Frizzell, best known for penning the number one
hit, “Your Out Doing What I’m Here Doing Without” for
Gene Watson and for his marriage to Shelly West, you can only
imagine the family stories I have heard.
Some of my favorites came from Billy himself. I was fortunate
enough to have many conversations with Uncle Bill over the last
few years before his death, sometimes to and from Uncle David’s
shows or at the nursing home in Franklin, TN where he spent
his last years. We would talk about the music, writing and the
old days. In one conversation I told him about some of the song
ideas and hooks I had been sitting on for a while. He couldn’t get
enough of that. One of the hooks he liked so much, he started
coming up with lyrics right there in the car. You could see at 78
years old, he still had that creative Frizzell blood just coursing
through his veins. He loved my ideas and told me he wanted to
write sometime. I never had a chance to but wish I would have
taken him up on that offer.
Nashville Music Guide 16
Bill was also a fan of boxing and knowing that I was a
fighter for several years, our conversations would usually
drift to boxing and then to the brawls he and Lefty had
while touring through Texas. He once told me he couldn’t
believe my nose had never been broke in ten years of
fighting. He went on to tell me a great story about when
he and Lefty got in a fight backstage before performing
at a fair when Lefty broke his nose for the second time.
He said he got even by ripping the rhinestone Nudie suit
Lefty was wearing nearly to pieces. As you know, the show
must go on though. So there they were on stage in front of
hundreds, Lefty bruised and tore to pieces and Billy with a
broken nose that wouldn’t quit bleeding.
In November of last year while researching Lefty’s Nudie
suits on line for a project I had, I came across several
images of Uncle Bill during his days on the road with Lefty.
The best was an old publicity shot of him wearing a Nudie
suit decked out with rhinestones and fringe. I saved the
image knowing Christmas was around the corner and I
thought it would be cool to create something for him using
that image. I called Uncle David and asked him if he knew
of any important Lefty shows that Bill would have opened
for. He told me he opened a show on the “Louisiana
Hayride” at the Shreveport, LA Municipal Auditorium in 51
for Lefty and Hank Williams.
So for Christmas I created a vintage style show poster
for that show, using that old publicity shot. I made Billy the
headliner and Hank and Lefty the opening acts, complete
with all the information and ticket prices and delivered it to
him in the nursing home.
When he seen that poster he started to cry and just
stared at it for several minutes. He told me he had not
seen that photo in many years. He then told me a great
story about what happened to the Nudie pullover shirt he
was wearing in it. He proudly hung that poster on the wall
next to his bed until the day he died. There is no telling the
treasure trove of stories about our Country Music history
that is now laid to rest with Uncle Bill. I will always cherish
the one’s he chose to tell me about.
Nashville Music Guide 17
It Only Hurts When I’m
Reading: Eilleen’s early life
was marked by hardship, and
tragedy almost forestalled her
music career. But after raising
her siblings and honing her
craft, she changed her name to
Shania, which means “on my
way” ... and she was. Sounds
like a good book, eh? Well, her
publisher sure thinks so. Shania Twain’s autobiography will
be released next spring. “There
have been moments in my life
I was concerned by the reality
that tomorrow would never
come,” Twain says. “Recently
I experienced one of those
moments to an intensity that
brought on a sudden urgency
to document my life before I ran
out of time — before I had the
opportunity to share an honest
and complete account of my
life, in my own words.” In other
Shania news, her docu-series
on OWN: The Oprah Winfrey
Network will also premiere in
the spring.
Somebody tell me why Jean
Shepard was not out front singing the verse of “Will The Circle
Be Unbroken” at the Welcome
Home Opry House gala evening
on September 28th. And I also
wonder if everyone knows that
Jean is the longest continous
member of the Opry, more than
any other member has ever
been. This is her 55th anniversary as a member of the Opry,
and why she does not get the
recognition she deserves from
the Opry is beyond me. I am
hoping with all of my heart that
she will inducted in the Country
Music Hall of Fame in 2011. She
so much deserves to be with her
friends in the hallowed circle,
and they have waited patiently to
welcome her to her rightful place
in the history of country music.
Yes I have been lobbying for her
to be nominated and inducted
into the Hall and I will continue
to lobby for her and others that
deserve this prestigious honor.
Maybe she speaks her mind on
things that others are afraid to
speak their thoughts.
Darryl Worley and 10,000 other
attendees helped raise $200,000
for the Darryl Worley Foundation
at the Ninth Annual Tennessee
River Run over the weekend.
Proceeds will benefit several
regional and national charities including the Darryl Worley Cancer
Treatment Center in Savannah,
TN, which is opening later this
year ahead of schedule. Darryl
has been giving of his time and
talents for many years. He is a
special person.
Nashville Music Guide 18
Blake Shelton could be the next
superstar in country music-could
be. Records for Warner Bros.
Music and this could be his year
at the CMA Awards in Nov. I have
been critical of Blake recently, but
the criticism never involved how
great of a vocalist he is, how great
his records are, and his new and
most treasured award of being inducted as the newest member of
the Grand Ole Opry-it was regarding another issue. I feel he has
the opportunity to be a great asset to the Opry and also to country
music. I have had my say about Blake, but I give kudo’s to him for
being one of the nominees in the following categories for the CMA
Awards: Male Vocalist of the Year, Single of the Year, Musicial
Event of the Year, and Music Video of the Year. He has had 2 #1
singles this year, one of the Top 10 Most Played Singles of 2010,
and he brought a new concept to the country music industry by
releasing two six pak albums this year. 2 appearances on GMA, 3
appearances on The Today Show, and the list of accolades goes
on. Does that sound like I don’t like Blake Shelton music.
Loretta For The Lynn:
Fans, friends, music execs and artists convened
at Loretta Lynn’s Hurricane Mills, TN complex
as the international icon
celebrated 50 years in
music Friday (9/24). Lynn
and her sister Crystal
Gayle spoke to the media
prior to a tented soirée on the grounds of her museum.
John Carter Cash, Marty Stuart, Ray Price and Terri
Clark were in attendance, and recording artist/painter Ronnie McDowell revealed his family-commissioned
painting titled “Reflections Of A Coal Miner’s Daughter.” Inside the museum and amidst the accumulated
memorabilia and awards of her career, Lynn noted that
she never loses sight of her humble beginnings. “I look
at these awards like they’re somebody else’s,” she
said. “That way you can stay grounded. All I do is just
close my eyes and I know where I’m from. I go back
to that little one-room cabin where I lived ‘til I was 11
years old.” Asked about an upcoming Grammy tribute
at Nashville’s Ryman, she said, “I’ve been hearing
this. My daughter told me I was going to get an award
or something. Garth Brooks called me last week. I
said, ‘Garth, there’s a lot of things going on that I don’t
know about and they ain’t telling me.’ He said, ‘Oh my
God, I’m going to hang up.’ I found out he’s giving me
the award. He was on the phone long enough to give
that away.”
The votes are no doubt
already in to CMA for the
annual awards show, and
yes Reba is garnering
votes to win the Female
Vocalist of the Year, and
hands down she has my
vote. I say let Miranda
Lambert and the other
young-uns wait till next
year. Reba deserves this
award because she is the
entertainer, her music is proof she is the winner, and
she has carried the torch of country music for so many
years, but all that being said, she outright deserves
the award for her show and her record sales. At this
time of her long career she is still selling CD’s, concert
tickets, and she is in demand. Look closely at this
picture of Reba. Still beautiful, super talented, great
business woman, always awesome music for us, and
her name is the marquee of country music. She still
makes the rest of the field reach for the heights she
has already reached as she continues to climb to
even great heights. All you young ladies will just have
to wait your turn, because Reba is not only back, she
is leading the pack. Congrats Reba.
Cracker Barrel Presents
“Mandy Barnett’s Winter
I could write a book about
Mandy Barnett, who I believe
is truly one of greatest voices
I have ever heard, and I have
heard many. Her soulful vocals
have still not been captured by
our music industry, and she is,
in my mind, a superstar waiting her turn to be heard, but her new
project with Cracker Barrel, “Winter Wonderland,” is a masterpiece of the meaning of Christmas time. I have listened and my
favorite is “I’ll Be Home For Christmas.” Even at this time of the
year when we are getting our pumpkins ready for Halloween, she
sings with the feeling that it is snowing outside and we should go
skating, skiing, or decorate the Christmas Tree. She has captured
the feeling of Christmas and I am ready to go out and start buying
Christmas gifts for my children, grandchildren, and friends. Winter
Wonderland makes you want to be sitting by the fireplace with
someone special, and Mandy Barnett singing the Christmas songs
that we have grown up with. She will take you on a special journey
towards Christmas time. Mandy has put her heart and soul into
her brand new Cracker Barrel Winter Wonderland CD, and I urge
you to go to your nearest Cracker Barrel and purchase your copy
of this awesome CD, go home and play it, and you will be in the
Yuletide Mood immediately. She will stir the meaning of Christmas
within your hearts. Congrats to Mandy. This album is now available, but only at Cracker Barrel (or online at www.crackerbarrel.
The Browns’ Maxine Brown
Reissues Solo Album, Is
Chief Character in New
Novel About The Browns
At 79, Maxine Brown’s star
is shining more brightly than
ever. She has just released
Sugar Cane County: Maxine
Brown’s Buried Treasure, an
updated version of her 1969
solo album. In addition, she
is the central figure in Rick
Bass’s new Houghton, Mifflin Harcourt novel, Nashville
Chrome, a fictionalized
account of the life and
career of the country/pop
super group, The Browns,
of which Maxine was the
senior member and chief
songwriter. Comprised of
sisters Maxine and Bonnie
and brother Jim Ed, The
Browns achieved musical
immortality in 1959 with their
recording of “The Three
Bells.” The song was a No.
1 country hit for 10 weeks
and a No. 1 pop smash for
four. It even went Top 10
on the rhythm & blues chart. The Browns also scored big
during their 13-year chart
journey with such memorables as “The Old Lamplighter,” “Scarlet Ribbons,”
“I Take The Chance,” “Here
Today And Gone Tomorrow,”
“Looking Back To See,”
“Send Me The Pillow You
Dream On” and “I Heard
The Bluebirds Sing.”
Maxine socializes with
friends old and new at her
very active website, www. Here
fans can view archival
pictures and videos, find
recipes for authentic Brown
Family dishes and write to
Maxine directly.
If you were listening to Music
City Roots on WSM/AM 7PM
on September 29th at 7PM at
the Loveland Barn, there was a
familiar voice coming over the
airwaves and it was the sweet
sounds of Keith Bilbrey, former
air personality on WSM/AM for
over 30 years, until he was let
go from the station. I almost fell
out of my office chair. Hearing his voice was like a great
lift for me, and I know for him
also. WSM/AM made a large
mistake, and what concerns me
even more, I don’t think Keith
was invited to the festivities
at re-opening of the Grand
Ole Opry House on Tuesday
September 28, after spending
so many years as one of the
announcers on the Grand Ole
Opry. Sad that the Gaylord
people did not send an invite to
one of the WSM,s greatest air
personalities. I can tell you this,
that he didn’t miss a beat. It is
like he was doing his normal
shift. Music City Roots with
emcee Keith Bilbrey and host
Jim Lauderdale and bluegrass
guests made for a super night.
Keith, you are missed by the
masses my friend. From what
I hear, Keith will doing more
hosting for Music City Roots,
and that is great news.
Thanks for
reading, and
if you have
any questions,
please send me
an email at the
[email protected] Make sure
you order your subscription to
Nashville Music Guide so that you
will be able to keep up with the
news and what is happening in
Music City USA.
Marty Martel
Nashville Music Guide 19
by James Rea
After attending Indiana University’s Music School, Chuck
continued his music education by enrolling at Belmont
College in Nashville, Tennessee. With his sight keenly
set upon a career in the recording industry, he furthered
his experience by working as an assistant engineer at
various studios on “Music Row” until he was hired as the
chief engineer at the Castle Recording Studio. It was
here that famed producer Jimmy Bowen and Chuck’s
paths crossed, hence, launching Chuck into a career as
an independent engineer.
Chuck’s acclaimed engineering career which has
spanned a twenty-eight year period has allowed him to
work with many of the world’s finest artists, musicians
and producers and develop a diverse list of clients that
ranges from George Strait to Dire Straits. His engineering dominance in the country field has been recognized
by many, including NARAS with multiple Grammy nominations for his numerous critically and commercially
successful albums. The Nashville Music Association
named him ‘Engineer of the Year’ in 1996 and again in
1997. Nashville’s own Music Row Magazine voted him
the ‘Engineer with the most Top Ten Hits’ in 1998 while
the years 1999 and 2000 brought with it nominations for
the prestigious TEC award from Mix Magazine.
Chuck’s long-standing collaboration with Mark Knopfler
has resulted in two albums by Dire Straits, as well as
production and engineering credits on Mark’s solo albums, Golden Heart, Sailing to Philadelphia, Ragpickers
Dream, and Shangri La all of which have reached multi
platinum status. This partnership has also produced two
movie scores for the films Wag the Dog and Metroland.
Many within the audio industry regard Chuck as the leader in cutting edge technology. After all, he produced the
first all digital recording out of Nashville. His pioneering
efforts in 5.1 surround sound have been acknowledged
by his peers with the celebrated and critically acclaimed
Vince Gill’s High Lonesome Sound album, The 20th
anniversary remix of Dire Straits’ Brothers in Arms and
the 25th anniversary re-mix of Peter Frampton’s record
breaking live album, Frampton Comes Alive. His dedication to the furthering of the format as well as his prolific
command of the technology has been well documented
in publications such as Surround Professional and Pro
Sound News.
In 1999 Chuck entered into a partnership with Sound
Stage Studios to create BackStage Studio, a state of the
art, surround sound studio based around the Solid State
Nashville Music Guide 20
Chuck Ainlay
Logic 9000J console.
Pro audio equipment Chuck endorses include AMD, Apogee, ATC, Audio Technica, DPA, Royer, Millennia Media,
NHT, Steinberg - Nuendo, Universal Audio, Upstate
Audio, Waves and Vintech Audio.
Chuck is a founding member of META Inc. which
launched in January of 2005.
His community involvement includes serving on the
Board of Governors and The Producers and Engineers
Wing of NARAS, Leadership Music, SAE Advisory Board
and the Nashville Chapter Board of the Audio Engineering Society.
Outside of the music business, Chuck is an avid water
ski enthusiast who held the Tennessee State Men’s III
slalom record from1998 to 2002. Other interests include
snow skiing, scuba diving, travel and walking the dogs.
Chuck will be appearing on The Producer’s Chair on
Thursday, November 18 @ Douglas Corner @ 6pm.
Complete details @
Nashville Music Guide 21
Inside Track on Music Row
by Preshias
Send me music stuff, I love to get it! / [email protected] TN/USA. Google “Preshias” &
VERSE OF THE MONTH: “If we ever forget that we’re one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under...” - Ronald Reagan
BENEFIT NEWS: Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, called on his musical friends to aid the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation’s Wanna Play Fund with a CD project titled I WANNA PLAY!: An Album To Put Musical Instruments Into The Hands Of Every Child In America. Joining Huckabee
are Aaron Tippin, and producer James Stroud. The compilation features performances by George Jones, Ronnie Milsap, Neil Sedaka and more. I WANNA PLAY is
available via major retail and digital outlets including iTunes and Amazon. Info about I WANNA PLAY! CD or NAMM Foundation’s Wanna Play Fund, visit
BOOK NEWS: If you’re a songwriter (or wish you were) check out a new book by Rand Bishop titled “The Absolute Essentials of Songwriting Success.” Bishop has
drawn from 40 years of on-the-job experience and visited with some of the most honored song crafters of the last five decades to unveil a long-term strategy for building a career in composing songs. Described as “a realistic roadmap to the top of Hit Mountain,” the book is available from Info at
BUSINESS BUZZ: Veteran artist manager Nancy Russell has re-launched her company as THE CO-OP with initial clients Alan Jackson and country Legend Loretta
Lynn. Joining Russell’s team are industry vets Judy McDonough, Renée Aly and Jaime Ellis.
CD NEWS: On the new CD ORIGINAL SONGWRITER, Warner Music Nashville let fans hear how many singers heard the original songs for the first time. There’s
the version of “The House That Built Me” that made Miranda Lambert cry, the version of “I Hope You Dance” that inspired Lee Ann Womack to give the performance
of her career and the demo that Garth Brooks loved so much in “The Dance. Some of the recordings have been ‘re-touched’ but are still played out as they were
originally placed on the ‘pitch CD.’ Some tracks include: The Dance – Garth Brooks (Tony Arata), Independence Day – Martina McBride (Gretchen Peters), It’s Five O’
Clock Somewhere – Alan Jackson (Jim Brown, Donald Rollins), Check Yes Or No – George Strait (Dana Hunt, Danny Wells) and many more.
CD RELEASES: Capitol Records Nashville’s Darius Rucker celebrates the release of his highly anticipated 13-track sophomore country record, CHARLESTON, SC
1966. The record contains the hit single, “Come Back Song.” Fans that purchase the CD on iTunes receive two bonus tracks from Rucker’s CMT Invitation Only
performance—“Let Her Cry” and “Family Tradition.” “It made sense to name the album CHARLESTON, SC 1966 not only because it’s home but as a tribute to Radney Foster, who helped me realize I could sing country music,” says Rucker. CMA AWARDS NEWS: The who’s who of Country Music will grace the stage for the 44th Annual CMA Awards Show. Country’s princess Taylor Swift has been added
to the performance lineup for the Star-Studded night. The show airs live from Nashville on November 10th at 7:00pm on ABC-TV.
CRACKER BARREL MUSIC NEWS: On Nov 1st Cracker Barrel Old Country Store will release its latest CD featuring R&B legend and American icon Smokey Robinson, NOW AND THEN features 12 songs including six live versions of his well-known classics recorded in 2010 during various performances. Available only at Cracker
ICM NEWS: Inspirational Country Music Awards was the highlight of the 16th ANNUAL convention. The Roy’s ICM’s reigning Duo of the Year took the honor for the
second consecutive year. They joined performers Katrina Elam, Steve Richard, Andy Griggs, Tommy Brandt, Emma Jacob, Mary James and Russ Murphy along with
Love And Theft, Joey + Rory and others. Entertainer of the Year: Point of Grace, Male Vocalist: Tommy Brandt, Female Vocalist: Mary James, Vocal Group: CrossCountry The Band, Mainstream Inspirational Song: “This Ain’t Nothin’” Craig Morgan, Inspirational Video of the Year: “Temporary Home” Carrie Underwood, Director,
Deaton-Flanigen. For the 4th year in a row, “Radio Personality Of The Year” went to Rich Miller. Storme Warren (GAC) and Megan Alexander (Extra) co-hosted the
LABEL NEWS: Capitol Records/Nashville threw a party to celebrate their 4th consecutive # 1 single “Our Kind of Love,” the reigning ACM and CMA Vocal Group of the
Year Lady Antebellum was surprised with the news that their sophomore CD - NEED YOU NOW is now certified TRIPLE PLATINUM®, signifying sales of over three
million. The GRAMMY award winning trio is currently on their first headlining Need You Now 2010 Tour. For a full list of Lady A’s headlining tour dates, visit CMA New Artist of the Year nominee Luke Bryan was celebrating his second consecutive #1 single for “Rain Is A Good Thing” with family, friends
and the Nashville Music Row industry, when he was surprised by Capitol Records Nashville label head Mike Dungan with the proclamation that his current CD – DOIN’
MY THING has hit the 500,000 mark. It is now been
certified Gold® by the RIAA.
NASHVILLE SONGWRITERS ASSOC. NEWS: The Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Foundation inducted Pat Alger, Steve Cropper, Paul Davis and Stephen Foster into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. The night was full of celebrities, glitz & glamour. The cream of the Nashville music royalty. With surprise appearances,
by artists Jimmy Wayne, Tanya Tucker & Garth Brooks to help pay tribute to the inductees that forever changed their lives.
Lady A, Adrianna Freeman, Samantha Landrum, Carrie Underwood and Amber Shalene.
Nashville Music Guide 22
Tony Boatwright Jr. Presents
Lyrics for Lyric at
Singer/ Songwriter, Tony Boatwright will be presenting
Lyrics for Lyric, in association with Picks Nashville on
November 10th to benefit Lyric Alana Frizzell, featuring The
Jukebox Junkie, Ken Mellons.
Music Row’s historical club, Picks Nashville located at
1407 Division St., Nashville TN, 37203,formally known as
the Country Music Hall of Fame Lounge, has been a
long time fixture in town as a gathering place for hit song
writers, music industry exec’s and country music stars like
Kenny Chesney, Tim Mcgraw and Frizzell & West to name
a few. Now under new ownership, Picks Nashville is
teaming with some of the industries vast body of talent for
a monthly series of rounds featuring country stars and hit
songwriters, benefiting various causes close to the owner,
Wade Johnson’s heart.
The November 10th show will showcase rising
songwriters in the round starting at 6pm with the night
culminating in three hit songwriter rounds starting at 8pm,
featuring Country/ Bluegrass Music Star, Ken Mellons,
whom also penned the hits (Honkytonkville -George
Strait) and (The Shoes - Dierks Bentley). Hit songwriters
also appearing that night will be Stan Webb (I'm From the
Country - Tracy Byrd), Danny Wells (Check Yes or No George Strait), Gary Hannan (Tequila Makes her Clothes
Fall Off - Joe Nichols), Bernie Nelson (Daddy Never
Was The Cadillac Kind - Confederate Railroad) and Rich
Fagan (Sold - John Michael Montgomery). A portion of the
nights proceeds will be donated to the Lyric Frizzell Fund,
to offset the costs incurred during the two year olds cancer
treatment at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital.
On July 28th, 2009, at ten months old, Lyric Alana
Frizzell, daughter of Crystal and Artist to the Stars, Corey
Frizzell was diagnosed with an aggressive, rare form of
Leukemia and was just hours from losing her life. Not only
was it a parent’s worst nightmare to hear the dreaded
words “Cancer”, but to soon find out that Lyric is the only
documented case in history to have her form of Leukemia
was unfathomable. She has endured six months of chemo,
deadly infections and months of seclusion from family
and friends in a protected, filtrated wing of the hospital for
immune suppressed patients at the Vanderbilt Children’s
Hospital, Myelosuppression Unit.
Lyric is now celebrating being declared in a partial
remission from the Leukemia but frequents the Vanderbilt
Cancer Clinic monthly and will continue to do so for the
next four years to monitor her immune system and blood
counts. If she can avoid a relapse during this period, having
the greatest chance for one during the next year and a half,
she will be declared in full remission.
“We are very excited to have someone like Ken Mellons
as our featured artist. This is for a great cause and should
be a very entertaining night.” – Wade Johnson
Ken Mellons’ childhood musical influences ran rich
with the sound of the Appalachian Mountains where
his appreciation for soulful harmonies and raw acoustic
sounds, sounds that could only be found on his Dad’s
Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs records, made an
impression Ken would carry with him to Nashville when
his father Charles took a position at the “The Tennessean”
newspaper, moving the family west to “Music City USA.”
At the time the Mellons’ had no idea that their little boy
would grow up to have a giant sized baritone voice that
would burst onto the country music scene when Ken
signed his first record deal in 1992 with Sony Music selling
over 500,000 copies of his debut album, which boasted the
radio hits “Jukebox Junkie,” and “I Can Bring Her Back.”.
Although Ken garnered commercial success in the
country music field, he recently came full circle releasing
his first Bluegrass album Rural Route, featuring the single
Tennessee Ridge Runner with special guest appearances
by Sonya Isaacs and Vince Gill.
Ken is back where he began and couldn’t be happier
“Bluegrass has always been a part of my life, ever since I
was a kid. In a way bluegrass music for me is like opening
an old photo album full of memories from my childhood. I
can’t wait to develop the next roll of pictures and add them
to my album.” - Ken Mellons
For more information on Picks Nashville, Lyric Frizzell and
Ken Mellons, visit the following websites at, and
Nashville Music Guide 23
By Debi Champion
Dan Demay
What do you think about the music industry, how it’s changing and
where it’s headed?
Dan Demay is from Fayetteville, North
Carolina, and moved to Nashville in
1988 to pursue his songwriting. His first
publishing deal was in 2001 with EMI
Music Publishing. He has had songs
recorded by Daryl Worley, “If Something Should Happen”, “Doing What’s
Right”, Messed Up In Memphis”.
He also wrote “Everybody Does” by
Martina McBride, “Crazy Everytime” by
Tracy Byrd, “You Can’t Hide Redneck”
by Tracy Lawrence, “Illegals” by Cledus
T. Judd, “All In A Day” by John Michael
Montgomery, “Heart of the Wood” by
Joey & Rory, and many others. He
is currently writing at Atlantic Bridge
Music. He will be playing at the Commodore Grille Dec 6th.
To be honest I think that the labels
are consuming the music industry.
They pick artists who can sing with vocal tuning software and looks pretty on
the radio, sign them to a 360 deal and
get their publishing. Then puts them in
a room with pure songwriters and gets
the artist’s name on the song. They’ll
release a single and put the money
behind it to push it up the charts-- keep
in mind they are not worried about selling records or building a fan base for
this artist -- they are getting the performance side of the song and own the
copyright to help pay back the deal; on
top of keeping 68 cents out of the 99
cent downloads from the Internet. Back
to the artist who thinks they care about
him, after his first hit fizzles out they
put another single out on him and it
doesn’t get as much money behind it
and it fizzles at 30-40 then they get off
it. Soon they load his buses with CD to
pimp out the back and he’s pretty much
on his own until they find a new kid on
the block ... If you look a the last two
or three years you’ll see this is true to
quite a few great singers that have had
two great hits but no single out now.
What is one of your greatest moments in your career?
Take songs that you absolutely know
in your heart of hearts are” knock your
head off great,” not just the ones your
momma loves --Momma will lie to you
because she loves you--find someone
who you know cares about you enough
to tell you the truth, and pay attention to
your instincts. You need to remember
that you are playing songs for people
who wished they could write a song,
most of your publishers have tried and
failed, ended up in a tape room and
got promoted after the boss moved to
a better deal, there are a few who have
done it and succeeded so you need to
know who you are playing for. If you
are going through the lyrics and you
feel something wasn’t said right then
you are probably right, find a better way
to say it. One great rule of thumb is
when you have thrown out great lines
for good lines that paint a better and
clearer picture; then you have a song.
Is there anything else you would like
to say to aspiring writers that you
feel will help them?
Be who you are, there is only one of
you in the whole world. God knows we
can’t handle two of you, but strive to be
the best writer you can be. Be your own
worst critic; don’t settle for less just to
get the song done. There’s a line inside
every writer that when you cross it all
of a sudden you see who you are and
How long have you been writing?
how to do what it is that you do and no
Seriously, the day they called me and one can tell you any different. And don’t
First things I remember writing were
told me to come to the studio after they try to write what’s on the radio, learn
poems (when I found out girls were
cut the track to “If Something Should
right now a lot of it is political favors
built different than boys), but the first
Happen.” Darryl cleared the room and wrapped in crap and you are 8 months
time I was enthralled with lyrics was
we sat there together at the console, lis- behind the happening thing. One more
when I was 7. I found a Conway Twitty
tened and cried together over the song, thing don’t pucker up your lips , close
Greatest Hits album and I took my
Haha. The next was when Darryl called your eyes and kiss whatever touches
school notebook and wrote down every
me and asked if I heard it on the radio for your lips just for a deal, you’ll get a lot
lyric on the record and memorized
the first time, come to find out it was the more than just herpes.
them. Kids thought I was weird for
first time for both of us.
singing grown up songs but I couldn’t
Visit our website at
get over how you could tell a story and
What “tips” do you have for writers for full
sang it while the whole time it rhymed.
when they are going to a meeting
interview. with a publisher or someone in the
Nashville Music Guide 24
Nashville Music Guide 25
Music City Glimmers in the Golden City
Dan Wunsch (former owner/editor of
Nashville Music Guide magazine).
Wilbrink, an expert in both the EuroMusic business professionals from
pean and U.S. music business, said,
Music City traveled to Prague, Czech
Republic, “The Golden City,” to kick off “It’s a pleasure to combine the cultural
heritage of the old town with the rich
the first annual five-day Play Prague
musical heritage of Music City.”
Music Conference and Concert with
Even though seminars and perfora mission “to give major exposure to
undiscovered recording artists, bands, mances led by the above music pros
were top priority on the conference
singers, and songwriters.”
agenda, sitting with some of the most
The conference was the brainchild
renowned experts in the Nashville
of cousins Dan Wunsch, songwriter
music industry during breaks was
and founder of Nashville Music Guide
a memorable learning experience.
magazine who was born in the Czech
Casual conversations beginning with
Republic, and Jan Honza Prucha, a
phrases like, “When I worked with Paul
musician and native of Prague. “Dan
and I wanted to do something different, McCartney…” and “Working with Bob
Dylan…” kept attendants rapt as they
to bring two cultures together through
gained additional insight and obtained
music,” said Prucha. Accomplished
a rare glimpse into the behind-theand aspiring artists from the US and
Europe gathered at Club Na Slamniku scenes making of almost 6 decades
of music history. The Nashville pros
to absorb all of the information that
shared personal stories about such
they could about the music business
and to share their musical talent during legends as Duke Ellington, James
Brown, Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan,
concerts each night.
Dolly Parton, and Johnny Cash, enticThe Nashville music industry exing participants to linger between sesecutives, producers, and artists who
served as seminar presenters included sions each day.
The experts further shared their muRich Adler (Grammy award-winning
producer/engineer), Kimberley Dahme sical knowledge and experiences and
(first female member of the rock group offered words of encouragement and
Boston), Stan Webb (hit country music motivation to rising artists throughout
the daily sessions. During the semisinger/songwriter), Suzahn Fiering
(jazz diva), Sir Waldo Weathers (mem- nar “Crafting a Hit Song,” Webb, an
accomplished songwriter whose many
ber of the James Brown Band for 15
hits include “I’m From the Country,”
years), Evert Wilbrink (Nashville and
explained that one of the purposes of
European record label executive) and
By Kerri Bartlett
Nashville Music Guide 26
songwriting is to help others express
themselves. He said that he enjoys
“helping people bring out the best of
what they have inside. I believe there is
a hit song in everyone.”
Creating and maintaining a lasting
music career was discussed in depth
during Suzahn Fiering’s seminar “How
to Become An International Independent Touring Artist.” Approaching
independent touring with a business
strategy is instrumental in reaching a
broad audience and developing a lasting touring career, according to Fiering.
The jazz diva emphasized that finding
a fan base in one target city at a time,
whether in Europe or the US, is key in
creating wide-ranging exposure. “Once
a fan base is developed, move to the
next city or town and do the same
Headliner Kimberley Dahme, bassist
of the rock band Boston, addressed the
art of performance during her seminar,
“Sustaining A Successful Performing
Career.” She explained that performing
is about being creative and expressing
oneself. However, expressing herself
openly through music wasn’t always so
easy. During her college years, Dahme
got a job as a radio and TV announcer
to overcome stage fright and become
more comfortable speaking in front
of others. With such fears a distant
memory, Dahme shared her experiences and philosophy as a successful
international performing artist.
Dahme said that the most important
thing an artist can do is “be good.”
“Get as good as you can get,” she
said. However, honing one’s craft to be
“good” takes hard work and grueling
practice. Dahme shared that Boston
sometimes practices two songs a day
for about 12 hours when preparing for
a tour. “I enjoy working with perfectionists because it makes me better. When
performing, you have to give the audience your best.”
Dahme said that she thinks of the
stage as her living room. She tries to
be welcoming and share a piece of
herself through her musical expression. “I want people to feel something.
When I see people sitting with their
arms crossed, but then they start
tapping their feet, then bobbing their
heads, I feel that I have opened them
up to feel and enjoy the show.”
As the headlining act of the final
concert at Club Vagon, Dahme mesmerized the audience with soulful
performances of songs from her new
album Let’s Sleep On It Tonight, including “When Love Comes Callin,’” as
well as crowd favorites such as “Can’t
A Girl Change Her Mind” and the inspiring “You Make Me Believe.”
Prucha and his Prague-based band
performed with Dahme during the
closing concert. Prucha said, “I feel
lucky to have been part of the show
with Kimberley and to contribute to her
performance. She has amazing stage
presence, and we learned a lot from
her expertise.”
As co-organizer of the conference,
Prucha said, “We plan to make Play
Prague even bigger and better next
year so that more Czech bands can
display their talent, while coming together with a common goal of making
and sharing music.”
To learn more about Play Prague,
please visit
Nashville Music Guide 27
Biz Buzz:
Phil Sweetland’s
Multi-Tasking Example
Governor and Author Phil Bredesen
Nearly all working musicians and songwriters have a
day job. Whether it’s waiting tables or framing houses,
the vast majority of Music City’s pickers or tunesmiths
make most of their living doing something other than
That provides them with the income and the time they
need to do what they love most.
There’s a modern word for this: multi-tasking. The expression is often used in a business sense, to describe
managers who are handling several responsibilities at
once. It’s happened a great deal at radio, where some
program directors at companies like Clear Channel or
CBS Radio are responsible for music on several dozen
stations in multiple musical formats.
Nashville’s most famous multi-tasker may well be the
outgoing Governor of Tennessee, Phil Bredesen. We
had the honor of speaking with the Governor on October 9 at the Southern Festival of Books, where he was
presenting and speaking about his important new book,
“Fresh Medicine: How To Fix Reform And Build A Sustainable Health Care System.”
Just like the Music Row songwriters who work on their
passion in their free time, the Governor said he somehow found the time to write the book, even while he was
running the State of Tennessee.
“First of all,” Gov. Bredesen said, “it was a field in
which I had been involved, it’s not something where
you’d have to go out and read 400 books to research
it. It was kind of a weekends or evening project. I really
worked hard on it over Christmas vacation, then over
the Fourth of July we went out west and really broke the
back of it. But it was really kind of a personal project, it’s
an area where I’ve had a lot of thought. Got ’er done, no
ghostwriters or anything.”
That’s an amazing achievement. Modern politicians
rarely even write their own speeches, but in this case
the Governor wrote every word of a book on a topic of
major national and statewide importance that’s near and
dear to his heart.
So is the Southern Festival of Books, which took
place at the War Memorial Plaza downtown. “I think
this is a great festival,” the Governor said. “I’ve come
down to it almost every year. I’ve never been to it as an
author, but it’s a celebration. People know Nashville for
country music, for health care and stuff, but it’s a very literary community. I love being down here, and I’m proud
to be part of it for the first time.”
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Events like the Southern Festival of Books, which are
free, are also potential networking gold mines for Row
singers and songwriters. Rand Bishop, for instance,
has had over 200 cuts in several genres, including Toby
Keith’s 2004 Single of the Year “My List,” which Rand
penned with Tim James.
But Bishop is also a successful author of books on
music. His latest is “The Absolute Essentials of Songwriting Success,” from Alfred Publishing. “Finally, a
realistic roadmap to the top of Hit Mountain!” a press
release says.
As Bart Herbison of NSAI notes: “Rand Bishop knows
the creative and business sides of songwriting and the
music industry. Aspiring professional songwriters should
pay attention because he has outlined the steps you
must take on your chosen career path.”
LA-based songwriting maven John Braheny says: “It’s
a wonderful thing to be a hit songwriter but even more
wonderful to be a teacher who can pass along his valuable hard-earned wisdom in an easily understandable,
entertaining way. Rand Bishop is exceptional on both
The brutal economy, especially in the music business
where CD sales are only about half of what they were
in 1999, makes it ever more important for music professionals to be versatile. How can you make more money
between gigs and between tours?
Could you perhaps take on some students? That can
be a nice supplemental income for musicians and singers. How about playing some house parties? These private parties have become a huge part of the income for
lots of musicians and bands. They tend to pay a great
deal more than a club or bar would, and most of the
folks hosting them are high net-worth individuals who
may also be interested in investing in your music.
And as both Gov. Phil Bredesen and Rand Bishop
have shown, professionals with passions and skills in
many areas do themselves a huge favor by doing extra
work in their free time in order to get their message or
their music heard.
Nov. 10 – CMA Awards, Bridgestone Arena and ABC-TV.
Dec. 1 – GRAMMY nominations show live, CBS-TV.
A Favorite Among Fans and Musicians Alike
For the past 15 years, Billy Block has hosted a live music
show, which is locally broadcast on radio and streamed worldEven though
wide, with artists who are primarily in the country, rockabilly or
Nashville is known blues genres. Block recently moved the show to the Rutledge
as Music City,
after stints at the Exit/Inn and 12th and Porter.
USA, live music
“The experience with the Rutledge has been great,” Block
isn’t our city’s
said. “Andy has been very welcoming to us, and has given
focus. There isn’t
us the opportunity to take the show to another level.” Block’s
a lot of opportushow starts each Tuesday night at 7 p.m.
nity for bands that Jason Hoffman owns Per Capita Records, a Nashville-based
don’t fit the mold
label that features eclectic acts from around the world, includof Lower Broad
ing Nashville jazz-pop chanteuse Rachel Pearl and R&B
tourist entertaincrooner Jonathan “Super J” Winstead. Several of Hoffman’s
ment to play in a
acts have played the Rutledge, which he said is probably his
live setting, to be
favorite club in town for seeing and hearing his artists perform
seen and heard
by anyone with any major label clout, and certainly not to
“Working with Andy has always been the most fun I’ve had
make any appreciable money. The Rutledge breaks the mold, booking or producing a show,” Hoffman said. “And it’s also
though, and is probably Nashville’s most eclectic club, giving
great with Frank there, because he’s one of the best in
the stage to bands playing rock, alternative, nu-wave, rapNashville (at mixing live sound). It’s always a pleasure to work
fueled acid jazz and yes, even country.
Managed by Andy Aquino, the Rutledge features live music
The club is also the site of live showcases for acts seeking
seven nights a week, and is a little off the beaten path, a few
label or publishing deals. These usually happen early in the
blocks south of the Lower Broad tourist traps and a few miles evening before the bands take the stage, or sometimes durfrom the Vandy-area college bars. Aquino said that he loves
ing the lunch hour. The club is also available for corporate
operating a venue that gives struggling acts a chance to be
lunches, dinners, receptions, and whatever else a client may
heard, especially when their music may be a little left of center need.
here in the country music capitol. He said that he sees hun“I’ve played a lot of clubs, from North Carolina to New York
dreds of acts annually, and occasionally runs across a band
City,” Autry said, “and I have to say it’s the cleanest place I’ve
that shows major league potential.
ever played, not a
“I do hear some bands who’ve definitely got it,” he said, “but
dive like so many
they end up lacking focus, or they just don’t have a clear
places. Andy does a
sense of what it takes to succeed in the business. There’s
great job of making
more to it than just having a good act or being good musiit the type of place
cians. But I do what I can to support them.”
where people want
Veteran Nashville soundman Frank Sass runs the board each to work, and where
night, and Aquino said that the club’s acoustics and Sass’ mix- the labels and maning ability have been a key ingredient of the club’s success.
agers want to have
“This isn’t just a rock club,” Aquino said, “but a place where
their showcases.”
anyone can sound as good as they want to. We’ve had Keith
The smoke-free RutUrban in here, full band, and we just had SHeDAISY in here,
ledge is located at
full band, and they sounded great. This really is a good room
410 4th Ave. South,
for just about anything.”
near the intersection
Nick Autry is the manager of Sound Stage Studios on Music
of 4th Ave. South
Row, and a writing partner of some of Nashville’s hitmakers.
and Korean VeterAutry is also an artist, and has performed several times at the ans Boulevard. Go
to www.therutled“The Rutledge has been an important part of my career as or call
a performer,” Autry said via cell phone, en route to a Jason
(615) 782-6858 for
Aldean show in Chicago. “From the days when I played there information.
with Hollywood Cowboy, to my own band, to even playing
solo, it’s always been a great venue. And Andy and Frank are By Rick Moore
really great to work with. Andy cares about the artists in this
town, and also wants everyone to be exposed to good music,
Per Capita Records’ artist Sharon
and to different types of music.”
Lang performing at the Rutledge
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Song Matchmakers Network Red Carpet Premier
A new concept in songwriter
rounds took place at The Listening
Room on Monday, October 18th:
Nobody played a guitar or keyboard,
nobody sang their own songs, and
every singer was a great singer,
performing each song to the studio
tracks. Now what are the odds of
that? How did this happen?
It’s the creation of Frances and
Harry Date of Song Matchmakers Network (A division of Silk and
Denim Music). They refer to themselves as “song publishers” rather
than music publishers because they
don’t sign writers; they only sign
great songs and pitch them for artists, movies, and TV. And they only
let great singers sing the best of
those songs at their showcases.
When Frances was asked how
this concept came about, she said:
“As publishers and songwriters, we
know the importance of casting the
right singer to interpret and sell the
song.” It’s equally important to
have the right arrangement, groove,
and musicians to put the song over
the top. Nashville is a town that has
the most incredible talent, so Harry
and I thought, “why not have some
of those singers present our songs
with studio tracks. It would also be a
way of giving talented singers some
exposure to the Nashville scene in a
new and exciting way.”
Songs performed at the showcase
came from writers as far away as
West Sussex, England, L.A., Vermont, and as close as, of course,
Nashville! The Song Matchmakers
up and coming artists featured were:
Melissa DuVall, Jordan Kirkdorffer,
Brittany Spriggs, Ryan Zachos,
Jennifer Majors, Jaime Riley, and
special guest, gospel recording artist
and songwriter Jessica Ford.
In the first round, Brittany Spriggs
sang “It Might Get Loud” to the delight of songwriter Pat Kelley. He and
his wife Linda came in from Vermont
for the event. This is what he had to
say: ”The songs and performances
were incredible. Brittany Spriggs and
Melissa DuVall did a terrific job on
my song....made me proud.”
Also in that round, Melissa DuVall sang a pop song by writer Matt
Elwood from England, a song that
will soon be recorded by a new artist
that Sid Bernstein and John Anthony
of Banner Records are about to
break. Melissa had the crowd in her
hands with her rendition. Frances
asked the audience if they liked the
idea of featuring pop songs with
country songs, and the audience enthusiastically applauded. They made
it known that they liked the idea of
using the studio tracks, too.
In the second round were songs
that Frances and Harry wrote that
were chosen for the TSAI (Tennessee Songwriters Association International) Gold Nuggets compilation,
which is a collection of the best
songs from each year—picked up
the most by Industry leaders at TSAI
pitch workshops. Jordan Kirkdorffer
put a lot of emotion into the heart
rending song, “I Don’t Want To Be
That Guy.”
Terry Bell of Gateway Entertainment thought the song was special and later asked for a copy for
his new artist. When asked about
the night he said: “I thought Song
Matchmakers concept of using music tracks with up and coming artists
to sing the songs was a very unique
idea. The singers were exceptional!
The Date’s matched each singer
with the songs they were singing, so
the overall performance showcased
the song but also the singers. It was
done very professionally and a nice
change of pace from the regular
writers’ rounds that are happening in
Nashville. I believe that the companies that are going to be successful
in this highly competitive business
need to offer a different approach
to the services they offer. I think
that what I saw this evening fits that
description and wish Frances and
Harry great success in placing their
songs. I will definitely contact them
when I’m looking for quality songs
for the artist projects we produce.”
Other highlights of the show was
Gospel Recording Artist and songwriter Jessica Ford who performed
her song “All That I Need” with
such amazing vocals that when the
song was over, Frances asked the
bartender if there were any broken
glasses. The performance was truly
that powerful.
of the most beautiful songs I have
ever heard. I have never wanted to
be a recording artist but listening to
this song, and if I ever record a CD, I
would put this on it. I cannot believe
how this song makes me feel. This is
the kind of thing that makes me want
to own a record company or run and
A and R office.“
In the third round, Ryan Zachos
sang “You Loved The Hell Out Of
Me.” The songwriter, Derrick Hampton and his wife Roxanne came in
from Dublin, Georgia for the event.
He said: “The showcase was excellent! The music sounded great and the
singers were amazing. It was refreshing hearing a song with the full accompaniment. Ryan sang the heck out of my song.”
Jaime Riley did a wonderful job
when she sang a moving song,
”Loves His Wife.” Songwriter Melissa
Bollea, past TSAI Workshop Director
was in the audience and remarked
that “Loves His Wife is simply one
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R.O.P.E. Awards Banquet Held Last Month A Success
What an awesome evening of camaraderie,
great food, and awesome entertainment. We
were graced to have some of the greatest
legends in all of country music. I am adding
many pictures to this article so you can see
why this turned out to be one of the most successful Awards Show that R.O.P.E. has ever
had. Seeing old friends, new found friends,
sitting down to a great dinner, trading stories
that we forgot about, anticipating who will win
the awards, and then being entertained royally
by Moe Bandy and his great show. He topped
the evening off with one of the best shows I
have seen in a long time. If you wanted to
hear traditional country music at its best, then
you missed your chance this night, because
Moe sang for over an hour, stayed after to
meet his fans, shaking hands, signing autographs, taking pictures, and spending time
with his fellow artists. He most definitely put
the finishing touches on this great evening. If you did not make it, you missed a night
filled with pure traditional country music with
steel guitar and fiddle and the voice of one of
country music’s giant legends, Moe Bandy. And please believe me when I say his vocals
were pure. He was thrilled to be with us, as
much as everyone in attendance was thrilled
to see and hear him. Oh yes, no one left the
room until Moe closed his show with “Americana” which brought everyone to their feet
during the song, as Moe asked all to join him,
and we did, and then he came back because
everyone wanted another song which he was
so gracious and happy to do. Now for the news you have been waiting for,
and the R.O.P.E. Award winners for 2010 are as
DJ Award (New Award) George Riddle
Musician David Russell (Fiddle)
Songwriter Ray Pennington
Media Stan Hitchcock Business
Jack Clement
Entertainer (Co-Winners) Charlie Louvin Bill Anderson
Mac Wiseman Nightengale Awards Leeann LaLonde (Her care for Jack Greene)
Gary Scott (For his care for his wife Jeanette
Scott) These are awards are given to people who
have taken care of someone who that is close to
them in time of need or sickness. Very special
awards that Mac Wiseman has designated each
year to be awarded to special people.
A special achievement award was given to
Jeanette Scott, who is a member of our Board
of Directors. She was given this award for her
continuous outstanding service to R.O.P.E. Well
As President of R.O.P.E., I was hoping that we
would have a great evening because of all the
great things going on in Nashville on October 7th. There was Bill Anderson taping Country Reunion,
but Bill still made it out to the Awards Show, then
the Grand Ole Opry had their Classic Country
night at the Opry House, but when all was said
and done, we are so proud of the turnout for our
Bob Whitaker (Former Grand Ole Opry Mgr., Jeannie Pruett, Jett Williams,
Dixie Harrison, Moe Bandy. Behind front row is Allen Karl, David Church
Nashville Music Guide 36
Corey Frizzell, Jean Shepard, Jan
Howard, Randy Matthews (Editor of
Nashville Music Guide)
R.O.P.E. Awards Banquet. I cannot express in
words how exciting the evening was, and I thank
all of our Board of Directors for a super job well
done, and a special thanks to the many fans
who attended, and to so many of the legendary
veterans who were in attendance. I can promise
you now that 2011 will be sold-out.
The evening started out with one large and welcomed surprise, and I must say a wonderful way
to open the doors. I went over to Jeannie Seely
and the gentlemen she is dating, Eugene Ward,
who incidentally is R.O.P.E.’s Legal Counsel and
is part of the legal staff at our Nashville Electric
Service. I gave Jeannie a hug and shook hands
with Gene, and before I could a word, Jeannie
grabbed my arm and put her hand in front of me,
and on her finger was one of the biggest engagement rings I have ever seen. Gene and Jeannie
became engaged the night before our show. How
exciting it was to see them so happy, and being
that I know both of them so well, I know that this
match is such a wonderful time in both of their
life’s and we in the country music industry are so
happy for them. Wedding is set for Nov. 20th,
2010. Jeannie looked as happy as I have ever seen
her, and Gene was all aglow. We all wish them
much happiness and we hope that they will continue to be a part of R.O.P.E. for many years.
This article would never be complete without
commenting on our host, Keith Bilbrey, who is
becoming a fixture for our annual Award Banquet,
and I hope he will continue to want to be with us
on all of our shows. As I have said before, Leslie
Elliott our Exec. Director or R.O.P.E., and myself,
all we have to do is give Keith the agenda for the
evening, and just let him do the rest, and this night
was no different than the rest, because he has everything in order and walks everyone through the
show with his comments and love and hugs for
his friends in our industry. He is missed so much
by his radio friends, his industry friends, and I am
hoping that another radio station in Nashville will
see the light and hire Keith Bilbrey. He would be
perfect for WSIX when we get rid of Gerry House.
I wish that I could list all of the great artists who
attended our show, but I know that I would miss
someone and I am not going to take that chance
because they each deserve recognition. I am
hoping that this article will make you realize how
great of a show you missed, how many artists you
missed saying hello to and meeting some of the
greats in country music who are always accommodating to their fans. The show was timed to
perfection and we hope that you will inquire about
joining R.O.P.E to be with us in 2011. We have a
monthly social where we meet for dinner, friendship, and entertainment by one of our greats,
legends, or new recording artists for the get
together. After the main artist performs, there is
an hour when any artist can get up and sing and
play, and the great staff band that we have makes
it so great for all. We hold our monthly dinner at
John A’s restaurant on Music Valley Drive, next
to the gas station. It is one of the best places for
everyone to meet. So think about joining with us
as Friend of R.O.P.E. or as member who works
in the industry in some capacity. I promise you
that you will enjoy what we are all about with our
monthly newsletter.. In 2011 we are planning
new and exciting events and we will keep you
informed. If you would like more information
please send me an email at [email protected] and we will forward you an
application, along with a brochure that explains
everything about R.O.P.E. Our dinner table was graced with the beautiful
blue bottles of water and the chicken both sponsored by Gus Arrendale, President of Springer
Mountain Farms, located in Mt. Airy, Ga. Gus
has been of the greatest supporters of traditional
country music, as you can tell by his commercials
on WSM/AM, and for his generosity in offering
each year to assist in any way he can to make
our R.O.P.E. Banquet a great success, and we
give our thanks to Gus for his continuous support
to our organization. Please take a minute to view
their website at the following: A thanks to Peter Cooper of The Tennessean
and all Tennessean entertainment writers for his
great support of our show, to Jim Asker of, Lon Shelton of Country Aircheck, Bill
Hennes of, to Bill Cody and
Charlie Mattos of WSM/AM for their great support
of our event, and to all those who got the word out
to the fans regarding our Awards Show. Without
media, no event can be successful. A special
thanks to Randy & Joe Matthews of the Nashville Music Guide which they were kind enough
to furnish magazines to all ticket holders at the
banquet. I am writing a column in the magazine,
along with editorials, questions, and opinions. Just go to and learn
more about this first class magazine.
My thanks and R.O.P.E. thanks our friend and
exclusive photographer, Jerry Overcast. He has
always been there to make sure that we get as
many photo’s as we need to use for promoting
R.O.P.E., and the 2010 show was no different. As
you can see by the pictures I have included in this
article, they are awesome and they ARE PROFESSIONAL-DONE BY A PROFESSIONAL-a
person who loves country music and a dedicated
supporter of our organization. We are so proud to
have him as a part of our team.
In closing I want to thank the production staff
that Steve Tolman assembles for us each year. The sound and lights were perfect for the Masonic
Temple. Steve has always given of his time and
talents to make sure that the artists and musicians are totally happy with the production. I also
want to thank all of the staff from catering for a job
superbly done. The venue looked great and we
are already planning for next year and I hope that
we will surprise everyone with the name that will
be on our marquee for the 2011 R.O.P.E. Awards
Banquet. We hope you might consider joining us. From age 15 to whenever, you can be a part of
our great organization.
Jack Greene, Jett Williams, Marty,
Leeann Lallone
Jett Williams, Jeannie Pruett, Leroy
Dickey Lee, Tommy Cash
Story by Marty Martel
Pres., MSP Inc.
Photos by Jerry Overcast
Jean Shepard, Moe Bandy
Moe Bandy, Marty, Keith Bilbrey
Nashville Music Guide 37
Leslie Armstrong of
[email protected]
Boys of Fall (Kenny Chesney) Sony
Kenny Chesney released his eleventh studio album on 9/28 titled "Hemingway's
Whiskey." If you were expecting this album to be similar to his previous Jimmy Buffett-esque
island influenced albums such as "Be As You Are" and "Lucky Old Sun" then think again. It
seems like Kenny went back to his roots and dug up some classic Chesney sounds we first
heard when he broke out onto the country music scene. It was no shock that "The Boys of Fall"
was his first single release from the album with Kenny being a huge football fan, it was right to
release it just in time for football season. Anyone who has ever played football can surely relate
to the lyrics and truly be touched by the song's message. Kenny has been on the road for over
ten years and selling out major arenas and amphitheaters across the country. "Live A Little," the
second single, is a song about taking time for yourself by breaking from work or any other stress one has.
The Incredible Machine (Sugarland) UMG
Sugarland has had 13 chart-topping singles from albums that have gone double and triple
platinum in the U.S. Their success has significantly impacted the country music world and
they will release their fourth studio album, “Incredible Machine.” If you are looking for
traditional country music, then this is not the album for you. The common theme of
“Incredible Machine” is rising up against any troubles one may have and conquering
them. “Stand Up” is a song reaching to all the lonely and broken-hearted people out there
and telling them to stand up to be heard. The track “Wide Open” also shares the same
message but also adds that people need to be as open-minded as possible when their life
is changing. “Find The Beat Again” is an extremely up-beat track, which almost sounds
like 1980’s rock song that tells people to do whatever you have to do to make yourself feel better after hitting rock
Leslie Armstrong of
[email protected]
Loretta Lynn Immortalized by the Recording Academy
The musical community brought the star power out at the Grammy
Salute to Country Music, Honoring Loretta Lynn, held inside
Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium. The second of its kind held a Red
Carpet Ceremony with Producer of Loretta, Jack White of the
White Stripes, Reba, Martina McBride, Gretchen Wilson, Kid Rock,
and Garth Brooks who honored the ‘Coal Miner’s Daughter’. Garth
Brooks escorted Loretta down a Red Carpet and told us exactly
what he thought was special of Loretta Lynn, stating, “Loretta didn’t
try to reach the masses and she reached the masses; she didn’t
try to cross over and she crossed over; she didn’t try to set the bar
and outlast everyone else and she has set the bar and outlasted
everyone else.” The show’s performances included many of the tunes heard on the Loretta Lynn Tribute album,
a rare performance from Garth was given as a duet with Loretta on the tune “After the Fire is Gone,” originally
NCC Editor Leslie Armstrong (l), Keith Urban (r)
sang with Conway Twitty. Photo by (Top L:R) Jack White, George Flanigan, Neil Portnow, Kid Rock,
Garth Brooks; (Bottom L:R) Gretchen Wilson, Martina McBride, Loretta Lynn, and Reba.
Shake What Got Gave Ya’ (James Otto) Warner Bros.
James Otto released his third studio album titled “Shake What God Gave Ya” under
Warner Brothers Records. This album, produced by Paul Worley and James Otto, has
nothing but fun-loving, easy-going songs that are sexy, sultry, and soulful. As we all know,
James has an incredibly soulful and powerful voice and for this album he combined soul,
rock, and blues influences with today’s country sound in his music. The first single to be
released from this album was “Groovy Little Summer Song” which gave Otto his sixth Top
40 hit. The songs on this album definitely have a fun, soulful, and youthful vibe to them
and are about letting loose and having fun. “Are Ya With Me” is a flirtatious song about a
man wanting to know if a woman feels the same about him as he feels about her.
Over 11 Mefilt liLaostnYeVaric.
of Identity Th
You Get What You Give (Zac Brown Band) Atlantic Records
Source: Javelin Strategy &
Zac Brown Band released their second studio album, “You Get What You Give” under
Southern Ground/Atlantic/Bigger Picture. The album was produced by Keith Stegall who
also produced the band’s first studio album, “The Foundation” which went double platinum
in the U.S. and gave Zac Brown and his band five top ten singles. The first single to be
released off of this album was “As She’s Walking Away” featuring Alan Jackson. This song
about falling in love with someone with bad timing and making mistakes with “the one that
got away” was a great choice for the album’s first single release and is already a success
for the band. Another song with a similar concept is “No Hurry.” Co-written by James Otto,
it’s an up-tempo song that talks about how slowing down and enjoying life is so much
better than always going through the motions in a hurry.
Nashville Music Guide 38
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